The New Patriotic Party, NPP, has ridiculed the National Democratic Congress (NDC) saying, the opposition party is threatened by the government’s ambitious ‘Agenda 111’ hospitals initiative.
According to the NPP, the NDC’s criticism and opposition to ‘Agenda 111‘ is borne out of the fear that it [NDC] will suffer another humiliating defeat in the next general elections because it suspects the governing party will ride on the massive health project to gather more votes in the 2024 polls.
Speaking at a media engagement in Accra on Friday, August 20, 2021, Communications Director of the NPP, Yaw Buaben Asamoa, hit hard at the NDC for the deliberate attempts to cast doubts on ‘Agenda 111’ given their “poor leadership and inability to improve the country’s health space”.
“For open political purposes founded on the spirit of non-performance and incompetence, the NDC wants an initiative that is set to benefit millions of Ghanaians stopped just because it threatens their assumptions of the 2024 election. The NDC sees Agenda 111 as a game-changer to defeat their archaic model of regime change every eight years. They are afraid we will break the eight. Agenda 111 complements major reforms in the health sector”.
Agenda 111 is the culmination of a pledge to improve healthcare infrastructure after the country dealt with the pressures of the coronavirus pandemic.
The President cut sod for the commencement of the project on Tuesday at Trede in the Atwima Kwanwoma District of the Ashanti Region.
Each of the hospitals will cost $16.88 million, with $12.88 million being used for the construction of the hospitals and $4 million for medical equipment.
The government said it has already set aside $100 million as commencement funding. However, the Minority in Parliament believes the government is not being honest about expected expenditure on the Agenda 111 project.
Former President, John Dramani Mahama, has described the government’s ambitious agenda 111 hospital projects as an afterthought.
He maintains the hospital projects will not be completed before the NPP leaves office adding that the government needed to show something for all the borrowings, a reason why it has embarked on this project.
“It is only an afterthought that suddenly they realized that they must be doing some infrastructure and Agenda 111 has been conjured with no transparency as to how the money for the projects are going to be procured.”
“Government should avert its mind and try to finish some of those projects including some of those that they themselves have initiated. Is it going to lead to more borrowing when we already have such a high level [of debt],” he questioned further.
A former Minister of Health under the erstwhile NDC administration, Alex Segbefia, has also said the government’s plan to build 111 hospitals across the country, is just a repackaged plan that may not see the light of day.
But Yaw Buaben Asamoa at the press conference disputed these assertions.
“The NDC has desperate cries for recognition. They are pretending to be alarmed at abandoned projects and the lack of financial resources to complete Agenda 111. Well, let’s tell them today. There are no abandoned projects. Every project has a reason why it is happening or not happening.”
“They describe Agenda 111 as a knee-jerk reaction without reading the NDC’s manifesto of 2016 and 2020. The 2016 manifesto promised to upgrade district hospitals and establish new ones in districts where there were none. The 2020 manifesto specifies 101 district hospitals due for construction. So Agenda 111 is a well-thought-through intervention worthy of study by the NDC”, he added.